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The Coronal Physics Investigator (CPI) Experiment for ISS: A New Vision for Understanding Solar Wind Acceleration  

Steven R. Cranmer   Submitted: 2011-04-20 06:34

In February 2011 we proposed a NASA Explorer Mission of Opportunity programto develop and operate a large-aperture ultraviolet coronagraph spectrometercalled the Coronal Physics Investigator (CPI) as an attached InternationalSpace Station (ISS) payload. The primary goal of this program is to identifyand characterize the physical processes that heat and accelerate the primaryand secondary components of the fast and slow solar wind. In addition, CPI canmake key measurements needed to understand CMEs. UVCS/SOHO allowed us toidentify what additional measurements need to be made to answer the fundamentalquestions about how solar wind streams are produced, and CPI's next-generationcapabilities were designed specifically to make those measurements. Compared toprevious instruments, CPI provides unprecedented sensitivity, a wavelengthrange extending from 25.7 to 126 nm, higher temporal resolution, and thecapability to measure line profiles of He II, N V, Ne VII, Ne VIII, Si VIII, SIX, Ar VIII, Ca IX, and Fe X, never before seen in coronal holes above 1.3solar radii. CPI will constrain the properties and effects of coronal MHD wavesby (1) observing many ions over a large range of charge and mass, (2) providingsimultaneous measurements of proton and electron temperatures to probeturbulent dissipation mechanisms, and (3) measuring amplitudes of low-frequencycompressive fluctuations. CPI is an internally occulted ultraviolet coronagraphthat provides the required high sensitivity without the need for a deployableboom, and with all technically mature hardware including an ICCD detector. Ahighly experienced Explorer and ISS contractor, L-3 Com Integrated OpticalSystems and Com Systems East, will provide the tracking and pointing system aswell as the instrument, and the integration to the ISS.

Authors: J. L. Kohl, S. R. Cranmer, J. C. Raymond, T. J. Norton, P. J. Cucchiaro, D. B. Reisenfeld, P. H. Janzen, B. D. G. Chandran, T. G. Forbes, P. A. Isenberg, A. V. Panasyuk, A. A. van Ballegooijen
Projects: None

Publication Status: White paper describing a proposed NASA mission of opportunity for ISS
Last Modified: 2011-04-20 13:55
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